Blog . Lab Workflow. April 22, 2023

Go ahead. Get destructive in your lab.

Lab Workflow
Lianne Trantz
By Lianne Trantz

According to Scopio’s Chief Product Officer, Dr. Amy Meitus, it’s time to start breaking things in the hematology lab.

Something like 70% of today’s medical decisions depends on laboratory test results, and clinical laboratories therefore play an absolutely essential role in today’s healthcare system. Yet the most common hematology lab tests like the peripheral blood smear review are still mainly conducted manually with a microscope. They require classifying and counting cells by type and hunting for abnormalities.

Does it work? Sure. Is it the best we can do? Not by a long shot. This method is labor intensive, time-consuming, requires continuous staff training, and is subject to relatively large inter-observer variability

This lag in automation in hematology is emblematic of the entire healthcare industry—which is usually the last to adopt digital interventions. In a recent article in Clinical Lab Products, Dr. Meitus thus makes the case for exercising a little bit of “creative destruction” in order to overthrow processes that work with processes that work much better.

Creative destruction gets us faster to innovation, and it’s clearly overdue in laboratory medicine and especially in hematology technology.

COVID-19 revealed the cracks.

The pandemic put a spotlight on laboratory medicine and revealed how vital diagnostic testing is for society and healthcare systems generally. It also underscored a worsening crisis in diagnostic capacity and capability.

The demand for clinical laboratory services will continue to expand as populations grow and age. The escalating costs of healthcare, rising workloads, and a critical shortage of lab professionals all call for a major upgrade in laboratory processes and more automation in hematology.

Meitus dives into the most pressing reasons we need to encourage disruptive digital innovation in hematologic technologies and in pathology and laboratory medicine generally. She also showcases how digital hematopathology has the power to shatter previous limitations and bottlenecks to diagnostic efficiency by paving the way for computational photography and artificial intelligence to transform image analysis. Such novel platforms will empower morphologists to do more in less time, remotely as necessary, and with greater consistency than ever before.

Embracing disruptive innovations will transform the future of diagnostics, open the door to earlier detection and more accurate diagnoses of cancers, infections, and other diseases. It will improve both patient care and the patient experience.

Read the full article here, or learn more about how Scopio is at the forefront of digitalization of hematology.

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